Rockincam crushed his foes with a sharp first over effort in the $50,000 elimination for the Graduate on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Rockincam sat fifth while Alexie Mattosie and Golden Receiver traded leads through a :54 half. Driver David Miller then sent Rockincam up to tackle Golden Receiver and he gamely wore the leader down for a 1 1-4-length victory in 1:48.1. Foiled Again tracked the winner en route to a third-place finish.
“I wasn’t happy with the trip,” Miller noted. “I basically wanted to get him qualified and have him race well, but not to be quite as tough on him as I was. I wasn’t too sure I was going to get by Brian [Sears and Golden Receiver] until the head of the stretch - he was still pacing pretty strong. You don’t see [a first over victory] like that too often. We get to pick our post [in the final], so at least we’ll have a good spot.”
Rockincam [$7], trained by Richard “Nifty” Norman, picked up his third straight win in his fourth start this season. The 5-year-old son of Cambest-Migraine has earned just shy of $400,000 for his breeder and owner, Stephen J. Farrell of Ocala, FL.
The $180,000 Graduate final for free for all pacers will be contested on Saturday, May 12.
Earlier in the night, Meadowlands Pace eligible Bolt The Duer wore down Mel Mara to win his sophomore debut, the $49,584 John Simpson Memorial, in 1:51.3.
Mark MacDonald steered the colt to his seventh win in nine career starts. Bolt The Duer, trained by Peter Foley, banked $214,058 as a freshman. He was a $70,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg by John Como and John Como Jr., whose nom de course is All Star Racing of Towaco, NJ. The son of Ponder-Wonderbolt is a half-brother to millionaire Shanghai Lil and hard-knocking veteran Blue Claw.
“He handles himself like a professional,” MacDonald said. “He’s done everything effortlessly so far.
“I wanted to watch Bronson Blue Chip in the first turn because he showed some breaks [in stride] leaving [the gate]. Danny [Dube and Friday At Five] came at the half kind of hard, so I just turned him loose going into the last turn. He got lucky to get out and on to Mel Mara’s back and pick him up late.”
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